Touch Screen Technique

[ad]Dear Computer Lady,

I, and I have noticed others, have a problem with the touch feature on a Kindle Fire and on an Ipad.

Sometime a gentle touch will get a response from the device(s), but at other times it does not respond even with repeated touching.

Is there a secret way to touch these devices? I notice that young people do not seem to have this problem.

Is there something different in their touch or is it technique?


Dear Anne,

Both the Kindle Fire and the iPad use a capacitance touch screen interface.

These touch screens rely on a weak electrical field to register your touch.

You can use your finger, or any material capable of altering the electric filed to touch your tablet, and it will sense the changes in the field and respond.

If you are having a problem with your touch screen, it might be one of several problems.

First, I have seen quite a few people trying to use their fingernail instead of the pad of their finger to touch their tablet. Since your fingernail is not capable of altering the electrical field, your tablet will not be able to register your touch.

Also, if your fingers are extremely dry, they might not alter the field enough to register.

Fortunately, there are special styluses available that you can use on your tablet. They have a special tip that will work with the electrical field on the surface of the tablet and allow you to use it easier. An additonal plus for the stylus is that you get fewer fingerprints on your screen.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • Rhino
    • March 5, 2014

    I’ve found that lightly licking my finger works wonders on my Kindle. It was driving me bonkers when it would change the page and then next page would not. As I am a nail biter (head hanging in shame) I knew that the finger nail was not the culprit and it was only by a fluke that I happened upon the wet finger trick. Believe it works wonders for real books too… LOL

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